Yala Rajabhat University, was primarily upgraded in 1963 from Teacher Training School to Yala Teacher training College, offering undergraduate studies in education in order to prepare qualified teachers for elementary and secondary schools in the southern border provinces.

The year 1992 was considered the exceedingly auspicious year when the college, along with other 35 teacher training colleges around the kingdom were upgraded by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej to a higher status with the honorable name Rajabhat Institute. Since then, Rajabhat Institute Yala, RIY, has continuously expanded its curriculum to offer various bachelor degree programs to a large extent as a way to meet the needs of the local residents in the community. In 1995, the Rajabhat Institute Act was promulgated, its assumed higher status puts the institute into effect in providing postgraduate programs.

In 2004, the Rajabhat Institute was accredited legal status according to the Rajabhat University Act, after which, the Yala Rajabhat Institute became Yala Rajabhat University, YRU.

In the year 2005, YRU offered Chinese language curriculum for a degree level in collaboration with Betong Municipality at Betong Education Center, Yala province. Presently, YRU is offering Master Degree in diverse fields such as Educational Administration, Teaching in Islamic Education, Environmental Development and Social Science for Development.